Fats Domino started in the late-40's as an R&B performer, his only option since white radio stations wouldn't play an African American's music until the social changes of the mid-50's. He racked up several hits.
But in '55 he crossed-over with "Ain't That A Shame." It went Top 10 on the pop charts. What was even more significant, his version, the original, out sold Pat Boone's pop cover. Boone had made a career covering and "sanitizing" songs by African American singers; Domino and Little Richard, among them. His gutless, tame versions were designed to appeal to white audiences. It was a practice that should never have started and took a long time to end.
A year later in '56 Domino seemed to reverse the tables. He took a song originally written for cowboy star Gene Autry and reworked it into his signature work "Blueberry Hill." While pop acceptance had arrived, Domino ruled R&B. Three songs, "Blueberry Hill," "Blue Monday" and "I'm Walking," held the top R&B spot for twenty-two consecutive weeks. All were Top 20 pop hits with a cover of "I'm Walking" being Rick Nelson's first hit.
Starting at the tail end of the '40s and rolling through the following decade, Fats Domino produced a string of memorable Rock 'n' Roll/R&B hits including the classic "Blueberry Hill." "The Call Me The Fat Man" is a four disc box set that chronicles his impressive career.
If that' s a little too much Fats try "Fats Domino-The Fat Man: 25 Classics." Along the way Curb Records did a sloppy job packaging Domino's songs and released a couple of second rate live albums. These don't do Fats justice and should be avoided. Look for the original masters from Imperial Records (released by EMI) for the real deal.